William Malcolm

Spanish Regulator OKs Renfe-Leo Express Deal

The Spanish Ministry of Finance has approved the state railway company Renfe Operadora’s plan to buy a 50 percent stake in the Czech private railway company Leo Express. The acquisition was agreed upon in March this year, but its approval was not required to complete it. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. The trade was also boosted by the Czech carrier.

Renfe said in a statement that the acquisition is part of her international expansion efforts and represents a strategic business opportunity. Due to the liberalization of the railway, Renfe is trying to expand more abroad and expects that by 2028, 20 percent of its sales will come from abroad.

The purchase of Leo Express opens the door to the markets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland and acquires resources and licenses for access to the German market.

“Leo Express has made progress in negotiations with the Spanish state-owned carrier Renfe, which is interested in joining the company in the form of a 50% stake. Leo Express cannot comment on them in more detail, “company spokesman Emil Sedlařík said about the transaction.

Apart from its home country, the Spanish company also operates, for example, in the United States and Saudi Arabia. He is also involved in the Rail Baltica project, which is to connect Warsaw and Tallinn by 2026.

Leo Express is a private railway and bus carrier, the company was founded in 2010 by businessman Leoš Novotný. Before the covid-19 pandemic, in 2019, the entire group recorded a profit of CZK 150 million. It also showed a positive economy in 2018. Last year, its turnover increased by about a quarter to almost 1.1 billion crowns.